ToysBulletin.com plays “Number Ninjas!” from The Haywire Group, Inc.
Wow….combining Ninjas with mathematics…..what could be better? “Number Ninjas!” is a fun game that teaches and reinforces the basics of math, including addition, subtraction and multiplication all on a game board that features Ninja playing pieces, traps and loads of excitement.
“Number Ninjas!” is a game designed for 2-4 players ages 7 years old and up. The contents include a large 20″ x 20″ game board, Ninja pawns, 2 sets of dice (3 blue and 3 red), 16 quest tokens, 3 traps, 80 Ninja challenge cards (recruit & master questions on each) and the Golden Dragon. The object of the game is to be the first player to collect 4 different quest tokens, take them back to the center of the board and claim the Golden Dragon.
To set things up, each player grabs a Ninja pawn and places it in a starting corner marked on the game board. Next, players must decide if they want to play as a Ninja recruit (beginners and younger players) or a Ninja master (older experienced players). All Ninja recruits use the 3 red dice and all Ninja masters use the 3 blue dice. The quest tokens are placed on the matching squares shown on the game board and the traps are set off to the side. The Ninja challenge cards are shuffled and placed face down near the game board.
To begin play, players alternate turns by first rolling their respective set of 3 dice. The dice roll will determine the number of spaces a player’s Ninja pawn may be moved. The 3 red dice will show either addition or subtraction, while the 3 blue dice may reveal multiplication as well as addition and subtraction. For example, the red dice might come up with a 2, a plus sign (+) and a 3, for a total of 5. But the blue dice might show a 5, a times sign (x) and a 2 for a total of 10. The player moves the appropriate number of spaces on the game board, trying to position themselves on one of the 4 Ninja challenge spaces.
When a player lands on one of the Ninja challenge spaces, he takes the top Ninja challenge card and reads either the Ninja recruit or Ninja master question, depending on what type of player he chose to be. If the player answers the question correctly (answers shown on back of rules), he claims a quest token located at that Ninja challenge space. If the player answers incorrectly, he cannot claim a quest token, but may try again on his next turn. The questions are all mathematical in nature, with the Ninja recruit problems a bit easier than the Ninja master problems. For example, a recruit question might ask how many more books someone has checked out (eight) of the library compared to how many books did they return (four) to the library? The answer would be four. A master question might ask what the cost of a uniform is if an employee spent $183 on 3 uniforms? The answer would be $61.
The game board also includes spaces that are marked “place trap,” or “remove trap.” If a player lands on a “place trap” space, the player can take one of the 3 traps and place it on any space on the board. A trap might temporarily block an opponent from moving his Ninja pawn. If a player lands on a “remove trap” space, he can go ahead and take any trap off the game board.
The game continues until one player has completed the 4 Ninja challenges, claimed the quest tokens and returned his Ninja pawn to the center of the board. The first player to do that not only wins the game, but can claim the Golden Dragon. “Number Ninjas!” has been designed so that recruits can easily play with masters on an even playing ground. Because the blue dice have a multiplication possibility, master players may get to move a higher number of spaces on the game board on their turn, which is a distinct advantage. However, the master challenge questions are harder than the recruit questions, so things tend to even out over a full game.
“Number Ninjas!” is a clever, educational game experience that can be played by kids of all ages. “Number Ninjas!” retails for just $19.99. Look for it at the Haywire Group website.